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March (Parking) Madness: The Brooklyn Borough Final is East New York’s to Lose

12:01 AM EDT on March 23, 2023

We're down to the Hateful Eight! This is the second battle in our borough final round. On Wednesday, we kicked off the round with The Bronx final pitting the 43rd Precinct against the 47th (polls remain open until Thursday at midnight, so vote). Polls will remain open in our this contest until Friday at midnight).

This matchup is a bit like Ali-Spinks — but, of course, remember that Leon Spinks did indeed beat The Greatest on that 1978 night in Vegas. Still, bookies have the 75th Precinct as the overwhelming favorite. Here's why:

The 71st Precinct (Crown Heights)

The 71st station house is at New York Avenue and Empire Boulevard.
The 71st station house is at New York Avenue and Empire Boulevard.
The 71st station house is at New York Avenue and Empire Boulevard.

The 71st made it to the borough finals with a first-round trouncing of Bath Beach's 62nd Precinct, winning with 73 percent of the vote. The reason? On our first visit, we found cops with 11 speeding tickets; 11 speeding tickets and a red-light ticket; 23 speeding tickets, four red-light tickets and four tickets for blocking a bus lane; 15 speeding tickets and one red-light ticket; 14 speeding tickets, two red-light tickets and a bus lane violation; and one cop with eight speeding tickets ... since May!

But something happened with Inspector Joseph Hayward's troops after our first story sent alarm bells ringing: The officers of the 71st Precinct became not nearly as disrespectful of their neighbors as many of their colleagues in blue (some of whom you'll meet later in this very story). But let's see if this week's transgressions  are enough to attract the attention revulsion of some of our voters.

For one thing, cops still ring the station house with combat-parked cars, even though New York Avenue is a bus route. The sheer quantity of cars, some of them double-parked, in front of the station house creates slower commutes for thousands of people every day. That's something Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell could address immediately, if she's serious about her "First 15" initiative.

Buses are squeezed by all the illegal parking on New York Avenue.
Buses are squeezed by all the illegal parking on New York Avenue.

And just as in our visit last week, the side street (unmarked, but maps says it is Malbone Street, which will mean something to subway geeks) is packed with officers' personal vehicles that are always parked there, leaving the street a filthy mess:

Filthy.
Filthy.

And on the Empire Boulevard side of the station house, cops have filled a sidewalk with their cars — even though a sign on the very wall against which they are parked says it in plain (albeit mispunctuated) English: "Dont Block Sidewalk." It's a real problem, as this slideshow shows:

It's interesting to run the plates on all the illegally parked cars parked on sidewalks around the 71 — and it turns out that only one cop has an egregious record of endangering kids through reckless driving. It's this guy with 16 speeding tickets and three red-light tickets, according to city records.

That doesn't sound like it's going to be enough to unthrone our other would-be borough champs, but that's why you play the games, right? Keep reading...

The 75th Precinct (East New York)

What a dump.
What a dump.
What a dump.

Speaking of playing the games, the 75th Precinct, a neglect-filled newcomer, reached the borough finals with a razor-thin victory over last year's champions ignominious scofflaws at the 84th Precinct in Downtown Brooklyn in our "clash of disgusting titans" earlier this month. Inspector Rohan Griffith must be so proud of his cops' victory — how do we know? Because nothing has changed at the Sutter Avenue station house.

During this week's finals visit, we found more or less what we found originally: Despite four parking lots, cops put their cars everywhere: on sidewalks, in front of hydrants, in bus stops, in the roadway and even, in one case, in the middle of a garbage pile (the better to completely block the sidewalk). Seriously, look at this picture — it's hard to even imagine what is happening here, or how it happened:

It's really hard to even know what is going on here. Are the Cushmans being thrown away with the trash?
It's really hard to even know what is going on here. Are the Cushmans being thrown away with the trash?
It's really hard to even know what is going on here. Are the Cushmans being thrown away with the trash?

Beyond parking their scooters in a garbage pile, the cops at the 75th are happy to leave their vehicles blocking the sidewalk on both sides of the station house. Here's a slideshow:

And if cars aren't enough garbage, here's some real garbage just left right there on the sidewalk:

Oh, speaking of garbage, there's also the driving records of a few of the cops parked around the station house or in its parking lot:

But mostly, the 75th is just a filthy precinct, ringed by junked cars and garbage.

We think we know who you should pick, but it's your vote, people. Use it wisely. Send the worst miscreants to the Final Four:

The contest so far:

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